Monday, February 25, 2008

Episode 373

Read the comic here.

I was tempted to animate this strip as well, but then it'd be very easy to start expecting the strips to be live action- and I really don't want to start convincing my friends that they need to become voice actors. (Not that I even know anyone who sounds the way Whiskey does in my head.)

Still working on the new sets - Hopefully I'll get enough of a section done tonight that I can take photos for the next few strips. Yes, they're going to be talky. We are starting out on a whole new storyline...

Speaking of that, this might be a good time to talk about the pacing and creation of the strip.

When I first started out, I wanted to tell an epic story, similar to The Order of the Stick. That meant no real focus on being funny every day, and that I could set up plot twists and devices that wouldn't pay off for months (or longer) at a time. After nearly eight months of that, I was pretty burnt out. So I wrote my way into a "chapter break" and planned some time off.

As I took that break, I watched as Ian wove my characters into his S-Team storyline. Ian's strip moves at a fairly steady "week long story arc at a time" pace - I decided I'd give that style a try when I returned from hiatus. For the most part that worked okay. It did speed the story up some, and I was more focused on finding something amusing for each day's strip. But it still wasn't quite "my voice."

Lately, I realized what I really like doing is telling smaller stories. I love working the Advent Calendar arcs - and the Concert Mayhem story that followed was another smaller, self-contained bit of insanity. So, with the latest "relaunch" of the strip, I'm going to be focusing on telling more of these episodic stories. It should let me change "topics" frequently enough that I don't get burnt out, and keep things moving along so that things don't stagnate or become too convoluted.

We'll see how it goes.

11 comments:

Na said...

Can't wait to read the new improved strip!

Ian Thomas Healy said...

Looking forward to the changes. With LSG getting kind of weird, the S-Team is one of the few "daily funnies" left.

Hmmm. I may need a Donut fig now. He'd be a good guest star...

Ian

Christopher Doyle said...

Ian:

Oh, I'll still be trying for the daily chuckle. I'm just looking for more of a "month long storyline" angle as opposed to the "when it's done, it's done" approach I'd been using. I doubt there'll really be much change visible on a day-to-day basis.

As to making your own Donut figure - that torso is from a Harry Potter set - it's from one of the Bankers, as I recall. The face is from the "Infomaniac" figure that came with one of the LEGO video games. Not really an easy build...

Jeff said...

Shorter story arcs are friendler to newer readers.

Christopher Doyle said...

Jeff:

That's true - and I am keeping that in mind while working on the new scripts.

My goal is to try for one "episode" a month, with (roughly) three weeks for rising action and climax, and one for a closing/bridge. I'll also be reworking the archive so that new readers have a clearer "jump on" point if they arrive mid-story.

I'm also planning one-shot "commercials" and "news breaks" to keep things topical and allow me to vent those weird tangents that I just need to talk about...

Nick said...

More use for Kent Blockman then?

lexpendragon said...

Here's some voice actors for you:
http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2332/2289812355_430df70a32.jpg?v=0

(And if you'd need it, I'd volunteer.)

dark whiskey said...

So this Means their going to have time traveling adventures?

Andy Boal said...

Looking forward to it too! Will we ever get back to brick cola and cola brick?

Geoffrey said...

If I might make a suggestion. Why not go through the archives and eliminate the pain of having just one strip on each day.

As long as you assemble the pages in chronological order, you should theoretically be able to archive a whole week's worth of dailies into a long panel that can be more easily viewed and takes up less space.

As for any comments you may have made in the blog - well, I don't even know when the blog started - if there were any, just preserve the interesting ones, ditch the rest! ;)

Christopher Doyle said...

nick: most certainly. I did keep that set.

lex: if I do ever go stop-motion, I'll be sure to give you an audition. :)

dw: possibly.

andy: probably - I wasn't really happy with the abrupt end to that storyline. It'd be nice to wrap it up at some point. Maybe in the summer, sometime.

Geoffrey: I'm only revising the main archive page, not the individual entries. (That'd be an insane amount of work for very little return.) Currently there's no link between the episodes and the associated blog posts, so there's no reason to worry about angle either.

Besides, I like the inane chatter in the blog. Makes things feel a bit less formal and stuffy.